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Any hobbyist machinist on here?

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by brian89gp, Jul 14, 2013.

  1. brian89gp

    brian89gp Feeling the Heat

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    Looking to have something made for me and seeing if anyone on here could/would be interested. Need a 3 jaw lathe chuck on a vertical shaft motor with a bench top stand. Needs to be variable speed between 0 and 120 RPM. Will be working with an oxy/propane torch on glass bottles in the chuck so need a little distance between the chuck and motor so the motor doesn't get overheated.

    Also need a cone, large side down, to go in the chuck with a rod coming up out of it. There will be another cone small side down to go on the top. This is to hold a bottle that has the bottom cut off upside down on the chuck, rod through the neck.

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  2. blades

    blades Minister of Fire

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    Gonna need a gearbox or a jack shaft system to get down to 120 rpm. Might look and see what Surplus Center has. Might also check yellow pages for used equipment dealers in your area, and see what they might be scrapping out. Keep an eye out on craig's list for an old wood lathe, the head would give a leg up on your project.
  3. fishingpol

    fishingpol Minister of Fire

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    I've been stewing this one around in my head for a few days. Is the motor necessary to keep the bottle moving while heating as part of the process? I think an inexpensive drill press or CL find with the belt off and spin it manually as needed. Perhaps the drill cowling can be removed and a weighted wheel added to the spindle to give it some rotation. The rest I think threaded rod and a couple of metal funnels. The cone to go in the bottle I can picture, but can a washer and nut be used instead of a second small cone on top? Just ideas until I get more info on the process.
  4. brian89gp

    brian89gp Feeling the Heat

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    Small stepper motor and controller would work for variable speed too. I could probably scrape it together myself but that is likely to take me another 5-6 years...

    The motor must remain moving otherwise the bottle will heat unevenly and literally blow up.

    Skip ahead to 3 minutes or so. I have been using record players but they typically melt or catch on fire after a little while.

    3 jaw chuck = meant as a centering device for a bottle, won't actually clamp on the bottle

    cones = heavy and loose sliding on the shaft. Being glass nothing is clamped down, the weight of the top solid cone holds the bottle evenly centered between it and the bottom cone on the rod
    ScotO likes this.
  5. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    Very cool recycling of those bottles! Great idea! Not to throw your thread off-topic here, but can you "shape" the bottle (kneck it down in the center and expand the open end) to give it a curvy glass look?

    I have an antique wood lathe, but it spins WAY too fast for what you are looking to do.....plus it's not for sale!:p
  6. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    wonder if a potter's wheel with a fabricated wooden "chuck" would work for your application? Just thinking out loud.....
  7. brian89gp

    brian89gp Feeling the Heat

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    Would catch on fire. I am thinking that the guy in the video only does a couple bottles here and there, after you do 40+ bottles in a batch whatever they are sitting on starts to get real hot. I had a 1/2" aluminum plate sitting on top of a record player with the bottle sitting on top of that and the plate melted itself onto the plastic record table. They also explode sometimes throwing glowing orange glass a foot or two in all directions.


    Me, no. Glass workers, yes. There are talented people who do all sorts of cool stuff with old bottles; me, I just do the simple things.
  8. Hearth Mistress

    Hearth Mistress Minister of Fire

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    Tips for anyone that wants to try this....

    As a glass blower, I've screwed around with these but after having bottles shatter in my face, stopped. "Soda glass" which is used to make beverage bottles is really brittle and not designed to heat and reheat or reshape. You can etch a line with a glass cutter and literally use a candle to pop the neck off and "smooth" the edge with a welding torch. We rigged up and old foot pedal sewing machine table with a steel plate to turn them but that was in college a long time ago. You don't need a lot of heat to pop these bottles, the glass breaks and melts pretty easy if your just trimming off the neck.

    You can buy a glass "hot head" bead torch head for $40 and use MAPP gas instead of propane. This type of head is designed to pull oxygen out of the air to burn the flame hotter without needing an oxygen mix hook up. It also is designed to use a much smaller flame which helps in ths application too. I have a bracket I use with hose clamps to hold the bottle, then use a big "c" screw clamp to hold it to the table so it's stationary.

    Good Luck!

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  9. brian89gp

    brian89gp Feeling the Heat

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    Thats some good info Hearth Mistress. I originally tried to source some propylene gas before I started but the cost was outragous, the oxy/propane ended up being incredibly cheaper on operating costs. Might just be a regional thing though.
  10. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    Since there's no real force being applied by the motor, I don't think you need a gear box to get to the speed you want. You could probably get to where you need to be by modifying the current.

    Here's my idea....use all of it or none of it:

    Get a ceiling fan motor and a 5 speed remote mount wall switch. Mount the ceiling fan upside down to a board (or directly to the bench if you need to move it). Wire the switch using an extension cord, or whatever 3 prong cord you have available.

    Replace the ceiling fan blades with a piece of plate steel, ceramic, whatever. There's basically a built in way to mount your turn-table to the shaft. You will most likely need to do some balancing depending on how big and heavy your plate is, but you can do that with weights just like a ceiling fan.

    As for your "chuck", you don't need any real clamping power...just need to hold the bottle upright and keep vibration to a min. Permanently screw down 2 jaws in the 10 o'clock and 2 o'clock positions. For the 6 o'clock position, elongate the hole in the plate steel so it can slide toward and away from the other jaws so it is moveable/adjustable. Tighten down with a big wing nut (big because it will probably get hot and you'll want gloves on). You could easily make the jaws out of some L brackets off the shelf from the hardware store.

    Voila. Spinning fire table.
    semipro likes this.
  11. blades

    blades Minister of Fire

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    I was thinking jack shaft to remove motor and most of the drive from the heat related area. A direct drive after any extended time function is going to heat saturate the armature causing a breakdown of the dielectric insulation. Surplus center used to have a bunch of small gear box motor assemblies with plenty of torque for application, just the shafts are only going to be in the 1/4" range or smaller. Old photocopiers used to be a great source for this kind of stuff.

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